Durham to Soon Reach Home Energy Savings Program Goal

DURHAM, N.C. – July 11, 2012 – (RealEstateRama) — Only a few spots are left in the first-come, first served Durham Home Energy Savings Program, and homeowners looking to save energy and money should apply before the July 31 deadline.

The program has already completed 650 homes and is on target to meet its goal of 700 homes. With only 50 slots left in this program, this is the last chance for homeowners to apply for subsidized energy improvements.

The Durham Home Energy Savings Program, overseen by the Durham City-County Sustainability Office and the City’s Community Development Department, has been working to increase energy efficiency to save homeowners on their energy bills while reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

According to Tobin Freid, manager for the Durham City-County Sustainability Office, the program is one of many designed to help Durham meet its Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Plan, which calls for a 30 percent reduction in emissions from residences, businesses, and institutions by 2030.

“The annual reduction in greenhouse gases from these retrofits is roughly the same as the emissions from 174 homes for a whole year or taking 274 cars off the road. This improves air quality and reduces health care costs due to pollution,” Freid said. “We are anticipating that a household can reduce their energy use by 15 percent in one year, which translates to a savings of over $300 in just the first year. With the 650 homes that have received retrofits so far, we’re estimating a total savings of $280,000 for these families in just the first year alone. To top it off, the retrofits themselves have created local green jobs, so this program is really an all-around win for the environment, the homeowner, and the local economy.”

Qualifying homes will receive a variety of targeted energy improvements including sealing air leaks in heating and air conditioning ductwork; installing programmable thermostats; sealing air leaks in the attic floor and the crawlspace ceiling; installing attic insulation; installing high-efficiency showerheads and faucet aerators; and installing carbon monoxide detectors. The retrofits have a market value of between $800 and $2,000 depending on the size and characteristics of the house.

To qualify, homes must be:
• Located in the city or county of Durham
• 2,300 square feet or less of heated space
• No unvented gas, propane, oil, or wood appliances in the living space
• No major structural, moisture, or hazardous materials issues
• Rental property must have approval from the landlord and tenants
• Occupants must agree to allow access to energy use data for one year prior and two years after the retrofits
• Occupants or landlords must provide the contractor with the $400 payment at the time of the initial home assessment with the Durham Home Energy Savings Program paying up to an additional $1,600 per house
• Occupants must be available to be home when contractors come to do the work (estimated two visits)
• Occupants must remove contents of attics and/or crawlspaces to allow contractor access to those spaces
• Occupants and landlords must be current on all local taxes

The Durham Home Energy Savings Program is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Climate Showcase Communities grant and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The program aligns with the City’s Strategic Plan Goal Three (Thriving, Livable Neighborhoods) and the County’s Strategic Plan Goal Four (Environmental Stewardship).

To apply online, or for more information on the Durham Home Energy Savings Program, visit http://www.GreenerDurham.net, email Energy (at) DurhamNC (dot) gov, or contact Freid at (919) 560-7999.

For information on the Durham City-County Sustainability Office, visit www.GreenerDurham.net, “like” on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/GreenerDurham.net, or “follow” on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/GreenerDurham.

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